Villarreal Vs. Athletic Bilbao, 2012 La Liga: Teams Play To Thrilling Draw

Athletic Bilbao came into their match against Villarreal with a number of fatigued players and players with nagging injuries, and elected to rest some of their stars. They were made to pay for it by the Yellow Submarine, who have only lost once at El Madrigal this season despite their 17th position in the league table. They put in a solid performance in a 2-2 draw that neither team will be terribly disappointed with.

Marcos Senna opened the scoring and sent his team into the halftime break up 1-0 with a spectacular direct free kick in the 10th minute. Just before the break, striker Marco Ruben had to come out injured and was replaced by Nilmar, who would eventually have a big impact.

Down 1-0 at halftime, Marcelo Bielsa elected to sub in his rested star, Fernando Llorente. He missed an absolute sitter in the 53rd minute, but made up for it in the 62nd when he scored Athletic's equalizer. Four minutes later, Markel Susaeta put Les Leones ahead, giving them a fortunate lead after what was a poor first half from the visitors. Diego Lopez should have stopped the shot easily, but inexplicably let the ball go right by him.

Gorka Iriazoz matched Lopez on the other end with an absolute howler of his own, failing to handle a shot by Alejandro Martinuccio in the 68th minute. Nilmar was there to pounce on the rebound and netted the equalizer, snatching a valuable point and taking two away from Bilbao.

For more on the two teams, head over to Villarreal USA and The Offside Athletic Bilbao.

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